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The results of the Quarterly Employment Statistics (QES) for the first quarter of 2017, released by Statistics South Africa today, show a decline of 48 000 jobs (or -0.5%) to 9 644 000 in the formal non-agricultural sector in the quarter ended in March 2017 compared to the quarter ended December 2016.
Quarterly employment declines were mainly driven by trade and finance & business services which lost 32 000 jobs (-1,5%) and 23 000 jobs (-1,0%) respectively. Additional jobs losses were also observed in community and social services with 8 000 jobs (-0,3%), manufacturing with 4 000 jobs (-0,3%) and transport with 1000 jobs (-0,2%).
However there were increases in employment observed in the construction industry with 12 000 jobs (2,0%) and mining industry with 8 000 jobs (1,8%).
Employment decreased by 58 000 or -0,6% year-on-year (March 2017 compared to March 2016). The largest contributors to the decrease were community services (-57 000), transport services (-18 000) and business services (-13 000).
Gross earnings and average monthly earnings
Total earnings paid to employees declined by R19 billion (-3,2%) to R588 billion in March 2017. However, this is R33 billion higher compared to the same period of last year (March 2016).
The decrease in gross earnings was led by the manufacturing industry with R7,1 billion (-10,4%) quarter-to-quarter, followed by trade with R6 billion (-6,5%), community services with R4,5 billion (-2,4%), construction with R4,4 billion (-13,9%); transport with R3,1 billion (-8,7%) and electricity industry with R1,2 billion (-14,4%).
However there was a quarter-to-quarter increase in gross earnings in the finance & business services industry with R6,8 billion (4,5%) and mining with R5 million (0,02%).
There was a quarter-on-quarter increase of 0,8% in average monthly earnings paid to employees in the formal non-agricultural sector from R18 536 in November 2016 to R18 687 in February 2017. On an annual basis, average monthly earnings paid to employees increased by 8,3% from R17 262 in February 2016 to R18 687 in February 2017.
Issued by GCIS on behalf of Statistics South Africa